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Hickoids: keeping Austin punk rock alive

Hickoids group picture
Hickoids group picture

Austin, Texas, is a young city. Not in terms of years, Austin has been around since the 1800s. But Austin has attracted a variety of new, young residents from all over the country. Real, authentic, native Austin bands that are still playing are a rarity.

In the thirty plus years they have been around, the Hickoids have blended country, southern rock, punk and other into a big rusty blender. They just might have been the first band dubbed "Cowpunk". Formed in Austin around 1984, they have kept going despite many personnel changes and Davy Jones, the guitar player, now trying to overcome cancer.

They just played a European tour for the 1st time and they have been chosen for the Austin Music Awards Hall of Fame for 2014. They'll be taking a tour soon all the way to Seattle from July 25 to August 23, playing in Texas and Portland along the way. They've played with some of the biggest bands you can think of, such as Nine Inch Nails, but have still remained a cult band.

I recently talked with Jeff Smith, the singer of the Hickoids, before their show at ABGB. It was a benefit show for Davy Jones, who is doing better at this time and hopefully can beat cancer.

Even though Smith is the only original Hickoid, he doesn't see that as a problem.

"I wish Jaime was playing with me, right now, but otherwise no. Davey joined not too long after the band originally formed. He's on the first album."

On Austin's changes in the last decade or so, Smith wasn't so positive.

"There's a lot of great things about Austin but they're rapidly being rubbed out. There's always going to be a great music scene here, but the things that made it easy to live and create here are, have vanished you know, and it's hard to create when you're struggling to live."

People always talk about preserving historic buildings, to try to keep the original flavor of a city. Why not trying to preserve the historic bands? Please keep the Hickoids in Austin, and go and see them play.

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